Director Dito Montiel is the only reason to see this movie.
There isn't anything about this movie that we haven't seen before.When Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) comes to New York City he quickly realizes that it is a worlds different than his previous life. Hailing from a small town, it looks like the New York is going to devour this country bumpkin/small time crook. MacArthur's only way out of this situation is with his fists, and when it becomes apparent that he knows how to use them it seems that MacArthur can change his lot in life. Falling under the spell of silver tongued devil Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard), MacArthur begins climbing the ranks of the city's underground fight scene. The problem with this lifestyle is that every victory comes with a price, and MacArthur soon realizes that he can have all he wants, but he might not be able to afford the bill that comes with it.
Fighting is a movie that we have seen before. Dennis Quaid acted in a similar film called Tough Enough in the 1980s, and last year we were treated to a movie titled Never Back Down which traversed similar territory. All of this aside, Director Dito Montiel manages to save this movie from the seen it all before doldrums with his interesting directing and editing style.
Okay, here is a film that could've used the extras to explain itself, yet, all we get are deleted scenes? These are cool but this movie isn't really begging to be understood more. There isn't much that happens in this film that needs to be clarified or re-clarified. So what is the point? I never felt like any of these scenes opened up this film or like they did anything to enhance the movie. As a result, these extras merely felt like an afterthought. Something that Universal Home Video put on here because they probably figured, "It's better than nothing."
Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85:1. Dito Montiel showed a flair for visuals with his first film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. Here, it seems like he, Director of Photography Stefan Czapsky, and Editors Jake Pushinsky and Saar Klein have been able to retain some of that, but ultimately it looks like what the studio wanted won the day. The DVD transfer looks really sharp here. Universal is almost 100% solid in the quality of the DVDs they put out. I didn't notice any moments of graininess, or any points where things got too light or dark in any area. Users of this disc can watch the theatrical version or the 3 minute longer, unrated one.
English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1. English, Spanish and French subtitles. The audio on this release was good. I think that the music was potent and that speaks a lot to Montiel's background as a hardcore singer. Sure, a lot of this movie has the big audio, meathead vibe, but I don't think that that gets in the way of what this movie is trying to say. There were some disparities in how loud the audio got between the fight scenes and the normal scenes. All in all, everything played as strong and as straight as I had hoped that it might.
The front cover of this DVD has multiple images from the film, most of which feature Channing Tatum and scenes of him fighting. The back cover gives us more images from the film, a description of what this movie is a about, a Special Features listing, a cast list and credits list.
When I first heard about this movie I was really excited. Having seen director Dito Montiel's A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, I thought that if anybody could add a needed poetic feel to the proceedings of a movie like this, it would be this director. This film has some of that but overall, it seems that Universal wanted your garden variety, pull yourself up by your bootstraps fight film. This movie is paced well, it moves quickly and it is packed with action. None of this is bad out of hand but I sort of wanted a little bit more from Montiel. I have every faith that he will return to the promise he first showed with his next film.
All and all, Fighting good movie that tells an engaging story. Sadly, it just feels a little too familiar most of the time.